It’s a summer for first love, last wishes, and letting go.
Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops two bombshells: (1) Gram is dying. (2) She’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dreams come true—but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home.
With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends in her fellow Wishwellians, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets even closer to her quirky family, and falls for painfully gorgeous Enzo. But despite the copious laughter, headiness of first love, and wonder of the glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Let’s be honest, the only reason I even picked this book up was because it had an anchor on it #DeltaGammaForever However, it actually mentioned my sorority, Delta Gamma. It was nice seeing Greek life in a positive light, which makes me ask the question, was author, Carrie Firestone, a Delta Gamma herself? I haven’t been able to find out if this is true or not, but the little connection to home away from home made me happy.
This book was awesome! It had happy moments. It had sad moments. It was funny and endearing. The story is entirely driven by the characters and their interactions with each other. I think what made me like it so much was the fact that the characters were exactly like my family and had our weird sense of humor. The humor I appreciate because in times of seriousness and emotional times, I cannot handle it, so I tend to say inappropriate things (For example, when my younger sister was admitted to the ER, I told her she looked like she had been in labor for 6 hours…oops). In all honesty, most people run from the dark, dirty, twisted humor – in fact, even though I’m EXACTLY like Maddie, I was taken aback by this because I wasn’t expecting it, but fully embraced it because Maddie and I are one and the same.
Main character, Maddie, suddenly has her summer plans thrown out the window when her grandmother announces she is dying, and in turn is taking the family on a cruise that specializes in “death with dignity”. While this part of the story line is a little “out there”, the relationships between family members, both those in Maddie’s family and the other families who are also on the ship, are stronger than ever. There’s family drama – which I kinda sorta live for considering family drama runs my life.
When I picked up this book I expected something on the lighter side that most YA contemporaries offer, however, this book wasn’t that.
It’s a book of adventure and finding one’s self in difficult times.
It’s about how experiences make you grow.
It focuses on how “great loves” don’t always work.
It’s about loss.
It’s heartfelt and it’s real.
It shows us the importance of life and how we need to live it to the fullest.
It shows us that it is okay to let go.
This book is being added to my list of favorites. If you’re looking for a book that takes you on an adventure with family – and showcases realistic relationships, check this book out! Up next is the newest novel from my favorite author, Sarah Dessen – Once and For All. You won’t want to miss it!